Belagavi: On Thursday, Karnataka Speaker UT Khader clarified that there is currently no proposal to remove the life-sized portrait of Hindutva ideologue Savarkar from the Assembly chamber in Belagavi. He emphasized his commitment to following the Constitution amid speculation that Savarkar’s portrait, unveiled during the previous BJP regime, might be taken down.
Minister Priyank Kharge expressed a personal opinion that it would be appropriate to remove Savarkar’s portrait. However, he acknowledged that any decision must adhere to rules and be determined by the Speaker.
The unveiling of Savarkar’s portrait in December 2022, alongside portraits of other national icons, had drawn criticism from the then opposition, the Congress, who alleged that the decision was unilateral and lacked transparency.
When asked about the possibility of installing a portrait of the first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Khader mentioned that the proposal would be discussed. He stressed that decisions regarding portraits and installations would be made by constitutional protocols.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Savarkar’s portrait
Responding to the speculations, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated that the decision rests with the Speaker. Minister Kharge, while expressing his personal opinion on removing Savarkar’s portrait, urged the BJP to answer questions about Savarkar’s history and beliefs before considering the installation of his photo or statue.
The portraits of various figures, including Savarkar, were unveiled in the Assembly chamber last year. The Congress, led by Siddaramaiah, staged a demonstration against what they considered unilateral decisions regarding the portraits.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Basavaraj Rayareddy plans to submit a petition to the Speaker, urging the installation of portraits in the Assembly chamber following established protocols.